Once again, merger mania in the financial sector lit up premarket trading.
was trading at $50.56, down $2.25 from Tuesday's closing price of $52.81, after it agreed to buy
in a stock deal valued at $33.2 billion. J.P. Morgan was trading at $179, down $6.50 from yesterday's close of $185.50.
The new combination would give the new company,
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.,
roughly $660 billion assets. According to the terms, Chase would pay 3.7 shares for each share of J.P. Morgan, or about $207 per J.P. Morgan share.
In tech action,
was slipping 31 cents to $55.50, down from Tuesday's finish of $56, according to
, on news that the Web giant could have to open its instant messaging service to competitors to receive federal regulatory approval for its planned merger with
, reported in
The Wall Street Journal
The semiconductor sector could get a boost from
today. The chipmaker was trading at $87.50 on Instinet, $10.69 higher than yesterday's close of $76.81, after Japanese chip giant
said that it entered a new chip-licensing pact with Rambus.
'Tis the season for profit warnings, and today it looks like
is taking heat for its earnings woes. The shares were trading at $53.25, down $10.88 from yesterday's close of $64.13 after the company said increased costs and a decline in product sales would leave third-quarter profits missing the 10-analyst estimate of 48 cents a share.
Stocks are set to see a pop at the opening bell. The
S&P 500 futures on
lately were up 2.80 to 1506.80, about 3 1/2 points above fair value as calculated by
. Fair value is a good gauge of how stocks will perform in the early going.
futures were up 27 points to 3750.00, about 21 points above fair value, as calculated by
, and indicating that tech stocks are poised to open to the upside.
Europe's major indices were tentatively lower, with France's
off 1.1%, Germany's
down 1% and the U.K.'s
0.5% lower. Japan's
gained 0.9% overnight, while Hong Kong's
slipped 2.2% (see today's
Asian Markets Update for more).